There were 10 family members in total in three rooms at Residence Nell. We stayed during the week of July 4, 2013 (which also happened to be couture fashion week, which might be why the prices seemed so darn high). it is a bare-bones hotel that used to be an old mansion. There's no fitness center, business center, pool, etc. But, the rooms all have free wi-fi.
First the good. Residence Nell is wonderfully located in the 9th a. near several metro stops, so it's very easy to get around Paris. It is also a very lively neighborhood near Opera Garnier and across the street from the best candy store on earth. The beds are very comfortable, even the sofabed. Our room was on the stop foor -- Room 601 (which also happens to be the smallest in the hotel -- more on that later) -- and was nice and quiet at night. Please note that there is a skylight in the living room portion, so if you've got someone sleeping on the sofabed, they will, in all likelihood, wake up with the sun. Also, the front desk staff was very nice, very helpful, very professional.
Now the not-go-good. There were several little annoyances that, individually, I would have overlooked. First, our room seemed much smaller than advertised. My husband, stepson, and I were practically on top of each other, and there was hardly any room to maneuver in the bedroom. If you are put in Room 601, ask for another. Second, housekeeping was indifferent at best. We often received too few towels for the three of us (and, on occasion, the towels we did receive were not quite clean). Dishes were ostensibly "cleaned" by staff but were, in fact, stlil dirty. The Nespresso coffee service was often not replenished. Finally, the bathroom, while stylishly decorated, was extremely cramped, the water pressure in the shower was virtually nonexistent, and the shower tiles kept coming loose.
But, like I said, the above are relatively minor annoyances that I would have been willing to ignore until the hotel elevator broke three times in as many days -- twice with members of my family in it. The first day, family members were stuck in the elevator for approximately 20 minutes. When we came back to the hotel later than evening, we were told that, while the elevator was thought to be repaired, it broke down again just 10 minutes later and was still not functional many hours later. Accordingly, we were forced to climb the stairs to our rooms. Please note that my mother-in-law and father-in-law are both in their 70s and would not have voluntarily stayed in a hotel room on the 5th floor without a working elevator.
Two days later, we took the elevator from our rooms to the leave for an outing. The elevator broke AGAIN -- the third time in as many days. Again, we were stuck, again we had to wait in a hot, cramped compartment to be released. While the hotel staff was very apologetic, helped us out of the elevator, etc., but they were understandably limited in their options of giving us recompense. My in-laws asked to move to another room on a lower floor but were told that the hotel was fully booked (again, fashion week). We spent the rest of our vacation taking the stairs and avoiding the elevator to avoid a potential fourth adventure in your hotel's elevator. We also asked to speak with the owner or hotel management and was told that no one was on site.
To be fair, I emailed the hotel management after I left about my disappointment. Within just a couple of hours, I received a reply. Management was aware of the situation, extremely apologetic, and decided to refund us for two nights of our stay (we stayed a total of 8 nights). This was a lovely gesture on their part and sincerely appreciated.
Management's quick and substantive response definitely raised my overall rating of this property. it's too bad that lots of little things and one very big thing ended up marring our stay. I don't know if I would stay here again, given the price and the very cramped living quarters, but I would consider other properties under the same management team.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located in Paris’s 9th arrondissement, Nell Hotel & Suites welcomes you to the intimacy of a private mansion. This unique setting contains 17 apartments and studios designed by Patrick Jouin, available to you for stays of a night, a week or a month… Welcome to Nell Hotel & Suites, combining the luxury of a pied à terre with the carefully designed decor and comfort of a four-star service. ... more less
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